NEW YORK (AP) _ David Merrick, Broadway's most successful producer whose flair for showmanship and publicity helped create such hits as ``Gypsy,'' ``Hello, Dolly!'' and ``42nd Street'' has died. He was 88.

Merrick, who suffered a stroke in the early '80s that severely affected his speech and forced him to use a wheelchair, died early Tuesday in London, according to a statement released here today by the David Merrick Arts Foundation.